I occasionally find striking a balance between being busy and being swamped a difficult line to tread. Due to the nature of my commitments, as with most peoples’, it is not always possible to control the flow of work that comes in your direction. Sometimes your day job is busier than usual, and sometimes tasks associated with additional commitments take longer to complete than expected. Whilst on holiday, and feeling suitably relaxed, I had a think about why I take on additional tasks, and what I get out of them.
Firstly, I totted up what consumes my time. Obviously, I have my day job,and this takes priority over everything else. After all, that’s why I get paid (and I love the work). Then I have volunteer committee positions. There are four of those. Following that, I have my taekwon-do, which is very dear to my heart and takes up a sizeable chunk of my spare time, both in weekday evenings, and at weekends. Then there is some occasional leisure time (and I also joined the gym recently, but am yet to actually go…).
I have found that when the above are quiet, and there is less going on, I tend to slow down a bit. Tasks that I would usually dispatch swiftly are tackled over a longer time frame. Conversely, when everything gets a bit manic, I find that whilst there is less spare time, I become somewhat more efficient (at least most of the time anyway…). Due to time pressures, I am able to prioritise tasks, and apportion them a more realistic amount of time that is deserved to them. This is not to say that I rush tasks, but merely do not spend longer on them than required.
I was therefore wondering to myself, if I did less, would I achieve more? In theory, I would have more time to devote to each, but according to the above, would I merely take longer to complete a task? I’m not entirely sure. I’d be intrigued to learn how others manage volunteer work and fit it in to their other commitments.